As TideSports.com reported Wednesday, University of Texas at San Antonio defensive coordinator Pete Golding is going through the hiring process at Alabama. Basically this means a bunch of administrative-level paper work, background checks, etc. In essence, unless something shocking occurs, Golding will be hired to be an on-the-field defensive assistant coach for the 2018 season.
Golding comes to Alabama with a sterling reputation as a bright up-and-coming defensive coach. His 2017 UTSA defense ranks tied for 23rd nationally in yards per play allowed. He also worked with former Alabama defensive line coach and current UTSA assistant coach Bo Davis. Davis’ recommendation would go a long way with UA coach Nick Saban, who already truly valued Davis’ player evaluations. FootballScoop.com reported that Golding previously interviewed for the Mississippi State defensive coordinator position.
So what role with Golding serve? The complicated answer at the moment is that it’s too soon to tell. Meaning, no permanent decision has been made. However, there is one scenario that is not only plausible but also likely.
First, it needs to be realized that Alabama will do everything in its power to retain current outside linebacker coach and co-defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi. Lupoi is an ace recruiter and with the departure of Jeremy Pruitt to Tennessee, Lupoi becomes the best recruiter on staff (if he wasn’t already). Lupoi has rebuffed several major Power 5 offers to be defensive coordinator, both last season and this season. He has been loyal to Saban and to Alabama. It’s really no secret that he wants to be a defensive coordinator, but it’s also not lost on him that he’s never called a defense and his understanding of the back end of the defense isn’t maybe where he’d like it to be in an ideal situation before becoming a defensive coordinator. All things told, Lupoi is going the path that Kirby Smart and Jeremy Pruitt did early in their careers while working for Saban. Lupoi is the second highest-paid non-coordinator in the country, according to USA Today’s database.
As many have noticed and pointed out, Golding’s expertise comes in working with the secondary. But UA has a defensive backs coach in Derrick Ansley. So how does Golding fit into that mix? Again, the answer is nothing has been permanently decided yet. However, it’s likely that one of the scenarios involves Golding being a co-defensive coordinator along with Lupoi. Golding could handle the defensive calls while Lupoi maintains his co-defensive coordinator title, takes a larger role in the defensive planning and continues to master Saban’s defense and all the while gaining valuable experience.
Several people have asked about the likelihood of Davis returning to Alabama’s staff. Saban values Davis and would love to have him return, but with Davis’ show-cause being upheld today by the NCAA, it would be difficult to bring him back. That’s beside the fact that current defensive line coach Karl Dunbar is still on staff. Nothing is impossible, but at this time it seems improbable. I’ve learned to never say never with Saban, though.
It is not yet known what Saban will do with the 10th on-the-field assistant. It was long thought the hire would be for an offensive coach, but that is purely speculative.
Reach Aaron Suttles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.